Sometimes no matter how hard we try certain things still manage top seep into our lives through the cracks. Despite the positive messages we try to send and the things we try to ban in our homes, as our SheHeroes get older they still are exposed to TV. Friends, schoolmates and older kids. Unfortunately we can’t always wrap our kids in blinders so that we can pick and choose every single toy and pop culture fad they are exposed to, not once they enter school anyway.
Monster High has not been on the radar in my house. Aside from catching an occasional commercial, I was pretty sure my daughter knew very little about this new brand of dolls. I knew about them more from the many blog posts and mentions made about them from a number of organizations that I interact with online fairly regularly. I was not impressed by these dolls and had no intention of buying them or introducing them to my 6-year-old daughter.
I never asked her about them. I figured if she they hadn’t crossed her radar enough to mention them to me, then I wasn’t going to be the one to put them out there front and center.
So I was a little surprised when shopping at Target to spend some allowance that she had been saved up when she stated she wanted a Monster High doll.
For those of you who may not be familiar Monster High is a line of dolls from Mattel that are undead girls (vampire, werewolf, zombie, etc) who are dressed in the most outlandish skimpy clothes and in their TV show worry a lot about boys, looks, shopping and everything we don’t want our daughters to consider a priority. They put Barbie to shame with even skimpier waistlines and fewer clothes. Think Bratz meets Twilight with a touch of Beverly Hills 90210. And YES, this is targeted for the 7 and up crowd.
So judging by what I’ve said, it seems a no brainer, right? Well, not so much when trying to explain to the 6 year old why you don’t want her to have it.
Now I try and encourage conversation with her about girls doing what boys can do. When we see things on TV that puts girls in a good or bad light, I point it out and we talk about it, in a way that makes sense to a 6 year old. So how am I to explain that looking like a sex worker is a good reason not to buy a doll? My daughter has no clue what a sex worker is, or why it’s good or bad. And I have no intention on having THAT conversation with her anytime soon.
So I stuck to my guns and kept it simple. “I don’t like the way they look” I told her. “Because they’re monsters? They aren’t too scary’ she answered. “Nope, I love monsters, just not these ones. They’re too small and don’t have enough clothes.” She thought about it a minute and sighed. “OK.” We moved on to the next aisle.
It’s not easy fighting the evils of toy companies, the media and outside influences like friends and classmates. But we do it anyway, one small shopping trip at a time.